It’s common knowledge in the gaming world that RGB gives you at least 15% extra skill when you’re playing a game and also gives your custom rig plenty of extra frames when you need them the most. Jokes aside, colorful gaming accessories have been on the scene for many years, but seem to have become more commonplace during the last few generations of consoles. Nacon is hoping to make you a true believer with this compact, colorful controller that checks almost all of the boxes.
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A Compact Contender
Gaming controllers have gotten all the more complex, with Pro controllers that contain a variety of extra buttons, and even customizable controllers that let you swap out individual pieces to help you find the perfect balance between form and function. The Nacon Colorlight sticks to keeping it simple, something that helps keep it both cost-effective and compact. From the moment I took this controller out of the box, I immediately fell in love with how small it is, something that my wife immediately noticed, as well, as she laid claim to this new adorable addition to our collection.
If you compare the Nacon Colorlight to a standard Xbox controller, they’re nearly the same size. However, the larger buttons, alongside shorter sticks and triggers help the Colorlight feel small and comfortable in the hands. A lot of the general bulk of a standard controller is also gone here, allowing the Colorlight to be very light to hold for longer gaming sessions. While I got to put plenty of hours into gaming with this particular controller, I also employed my wife to give her thoughts on it, as well.
Much like the Nacon Revolution X Pro Controller, the Colorlight does not use Hall Effect sticks, rather opting for ALPS joysticks that most first-party controllers have been using for years. Thankfully, they’re very smooth and responsive, with less travel than most controllers. Movements feel fast and accurate, and while my wife wasn’t trying to pull off headshots in Call of Duty, she mentioned immediately how nice the sticks and buttons overall felt. Her Coral Island sessions have been nearly immaculate since trying this controller out.
The Colorlight features a non-removable USB cord that measures 3 meters (9 feet) in length, so I could sit comfortably wherever I needed it and continue to play without needing to worry about running out of cord. The attached cord is thick, but not heavy, so it should be able to withstand many years of wear and tear before any issues arise. While I wish it was a removable cable, its low cost of entry means some of the bells and whistles may have been left on the cutting room floor.
What helps the Colorlight stand out, however, is its namesake. There are a total of six LEDs in this particular controller that shine bright through the glossy plastic exterior. When I first saw this controller, I thought it was going to be extremely slippery to hold in my hands, something that I am glad to report is not the case. It’s surprisingly grippy, even without any sort of included grip on the sides or rear. The plastic shell is also extremely satisfying, as the clarity is unmatched by any other see-through electronic I’ve used in the past.
The LEDs inside are not the most expressive or intense that I’ve ever seen, but they offer a nice glow that allows you to customize the color of the controller with the press of a button. While I wish there was a way to reduce the brightness overall, the variety of colors included let me match the vibe of the games I was playing. My wife loved turning the controller all of the different colors, even if at times she found them to be slightly distracting, but admitted being able to have it blue while playing games like Coral Island was a nice touch. You can also turn them off completely with the flip of a switch on the back of the controller.
Buttons and triggers are both nice to use, but the trigger distance is rather short. For example, in a racing game, you need to have a full range of motion to expertly navigate corners, something that a longer-stop analog trigger can do with ease. Due to the more compact nature of the Colorlight, more intricate movements are going to be more difficult to pull off, but having this shorter-range trigger could be great for something like a shooter. It’s a bit of compromise to ensure that the Colorlight can stay compact in the hand, and could be a benefit to some and a detriment to others.
Shine Bright Like A Diamond
While the Nacon Colorlight keeps things simple, there is still a large amount of visual customization that can be done to the controller overall. This is done through Nacon’s PC software, which is slightly cumbersome to use, but offers plenty of potential. You can also swap the specific colors of the LEDs within this software, allowing you to fully customize your controller to your heart’s content.
If you’re hoping for swappable profiles, this is not the controller for you. To keep things cost-effective, there is no onboard memory, profile swaps, or anything of the sort. What you see here is what you get, so some frivolous features were left behind on the cutting room floor. There are no back buttons, no macros, or turbos, it’s a vanilla controller in every sense of the word. You can, however, configure buttons to be different than their intended use, so virtual button swapping is still on the table.
The addition of Dolby Atmos compatibility in the Colorlight is another great feature, especially for those with high-quality headsets. The audio difference is immediately noticeable, letting you experience virtual surround sound while playing through games that support the feature. It was unexpected to see a controller that costs $39.99 support this feature, and it’s certainly commendable.
My main gripe, as someone with larger fingers, is the position of the Menu button. Since the Colorlight is around 15% smaller than your average controller, alongside its oversized face buttons, the Menu button may accidentally get pressed if you’re in the heat of the moment. While it may not be my preferred fighting game controller, I could easily see an X+Y combo resulting in the game getting paused alongside the button press.
The Nacon Colorlight is an affordable option to consider when you’re looking for your next controller. Its compact size, fun lighting, and excellent joysticks make it a joy to use for almost any game that you’re partaking in. As a cost-effective controller, I can’t think of any others that really compare to the overall quality of this particular model.
While the short-throw triggers may not be the most ideal for racing games, and the position of the Menu button may be cumbersome for those with bigger fingers, the Colorlight is another great addition to the growing collection of Third-Party Xbox controllers. It’s the perfect fit for younger gamers and those with smaller hands while offering a plethora of customization options that put it at the top of its class.
If you’re hoping to get your hands on this controller, you can purchase your own on Nacon’s webpage.
- Compact size is great for all hand sizes
- Great buttons and joysticks
- Feels great in the hands
- Short-throw triggers may cause accuracy issues
- PC App is cumbersome
- Smaller size equals some button compromise